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TAP – 2 / Drug Reps – 0

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I swear, sometimes this website just writes itself. I wrote this a while ago, but you guys have already picked out all the choice material in the comments by the time i got around to post it. 🙁

I have been in medical sales for my entire career, ten of those as a drug rep. I am a professional woman, I dress professionally, and hopefully I bring decent information to the doctors and pharmacists that I call on.

“Decent” information would include unbiased information.. So you bring propaganda, because you have a desired outcome the moment you walk in the front door..

Drug reps are not prostitutes, nor have I ever “sucked anyone’s….” to get business. I have never been out on a date with a doctor. I seperate business from my personal life.

Oh jeezus. Wear a net over your head so maybe you’ll understand one of my many jokes.
Did you really think that I thought drug reps were out giving doctors blowjobs and lapdances? Seriously, it was a metaphor, a figure of speech to mean that they were selling themselves and preforming “favors” in the way of pens and free dinner/goodies in return for something, in this case writing for the product that you are pushing. It was a creative and descriptive way to say “bribe” or “kickback”. Its not really prostitution, because the doctors aren’t paying YOU for your services, its the other way around, so its like reverse prostitution, prostitution^-1, or noitutitsorp (thats prostitution backwards).
Now if my made-up example was correct, and there were drug reps out giving blowjobs in return for writing for their product, then I’m in the wrong damn profession. 😉

Two things are going on here and I know that you are just going to slam me but I will say it anyway. Normally I find your blog funny, as I do have a sense of humor. I too think that the industry as a whole needs some repair.

True, and I’m glad you have a sense of humor. I do too, and if you think I treat drug reps in my store like I rag on them on here you are mistaken. I dont care what they have to say, but i’ve never crumpled up a business card and thrown it at them screaming. I just smile and nod as I’m up to my neck in Rx’s and answering the phone. As they are reciting their little speech about how wonderful the next $400 wonder drug is, I say “oh really?” and an occational “uh huh, wow!”. But to be honest I dont really have time to sit there and grill them.

But maybe, just maybe, you have interviewed for a position as a drug rep, and you just don’t cut it? So you are disgruntled? There is alot more to being a rep than throwing out pens, ect. I will put my knowledge of the 4 drugs that I sell up against any MD or Pharm any day of the week.

Oh, yeah… I couldn’t make it as a drug rep so I decided to be a pharmacist instead. You know, because I am incapable of knowing 4 drugs yet somehow capable of knowing all of the major classes, the disease states, the mechanism of action, and everything else that goes into being a pharmacist. Head, meet desk.
You can put your knowledge of the whole 4 drugs you know against my knowledge of not only those same drugs, but the treatment plans for what they treat, their mechanism of action, what patient population you can and cannot use (based upon how its cleared), AND who covers them.
Dont compare your knowledge of 4 whole drugs against an MD and think you’re some hot-shit or something. Anyone can walk circles around them in pharmacotherapy-land much like MD’s can run circles around me quoting excerpts from ‘Harrisons’ and diagnosing Wierdo-McButtfuck-Syndrome. So I’ll say this: Maybe YOU tried to become a pharmacist and couldnt cut it so became a drug rep instead.

You and the docs have to somewhat know the PDR

That quote right there just completely blew your whole argument right out of the water. The PDR is shit. Any pharmacist who uses the PDR needs to be publicly drug out into the parking lot and shot. Pharmacists use books that manufacturers dont PAY MONEY to have put in there. We use Facts & Comparisons, Lexicomp, or any other REAL pharmacy reference (Remingtons for the hard core old timers out there! Go big green book!). We pay big dollars for our reference books. We also use pubmed to get journal articles (you know, those pieces of paper you give to doctors in the nice binders printed on glossy paper with the big words and weird looking graphs on them). Pharmacists use unbiased sources and draw their own conclusions using the available data, its what doctors should be doing as well.

, we have to know our products.

You dont know your product, you recite what the mothership has brainwashed you with. Did you take pharmacology? No. Did you go to college to learn about therapeutics and treatment standards? No. You got the pharmacy cliff-note version of “here is what you need to know”. Memorizing numbers and figures and fancy acronyms for studies that spell out things like SHIELD and stuff.

Or maybe, you are a fat,ugly nerdy type with no personality, and a good looking woman ( drug rep or not ) will not give you the time of day?

Well you are a poo-poo-head dummy butthole. I’m taking my wagon and going home because you called me names!
Actually I (and im sure most of the people on here) wish that no drug rep would give us the time of day. And how can you say with a straight face that I have no personality! Look at what I write on here! I have talent!

Because your anger towards women in general comes out loudly.

Because every comment about drug-reps I make involves women? Hate to tell you, but most MD’s that actually listen to your bullshit are men. Plain and simple. For some reason the women doctors around here dont really care what you have to say and I get far less DAW-1’s and your silly drug-rep stamps from the women then I do from the men. Plus most if not all of the female drug reps (and I see a ton of them) are really hot. I can talk about the male drug reps giving.. uh.. lapdances? to the female doctors? yeeaah.. with his low cut pants?… uhhh.. suuuuure…. doesnt really have the same effect, sorry.
But you’re right. I hate women. I’m only engaged to one, and work with a whole staff of them for 9 hours a day. Does it count if I beat them with my belt? What if I make them worship me and call me “Your royal angryness” (that sorta has a nice ring to it)… “A new Rx on line 3 your royal angryness!”… “Yes your royal angryness, I shall get you the tramadol 50 and count thee 60 of them”… “Your royal angryness, there is a woman here who says her vico-dans were flush down the privy. What shall we do with her sir?”…
Give me a break, seriously.

Normally I laugh at your blog, but your anger has taken a dark turn towards people who are just like you, trying to make a living in an increasingly difficult world run by insurance companies.

Ever think that maybe the company you work for is part of the problem and not the solution? Wonder why insurance is so damn high now days? You think the insurance companies like your little speeches to change everyone from a product that costs them $5 to one that costs them $200? I realize you are making a living selling something, but its just that, selling something. You are a salesmen, not a consultant but a salesman. Quit acting like you are a consultant to a doctor/pharmacist (or part of the treatment “Team”) and start acting like the commercials I see on TV.

And one more thing, as you rail against people and their habits or addictions. Alcohol is an addiction too…you just are able to buy it in any when you talk about your drinking in relation to the people that you despise with addictions to rx-meds, perhaps you need to look in the mirror?

If I give a liquor store owner both barrels because I drank my whole bottle of scotch in 3 days when it was supposed to last a month even though the directions say “1 glass at bedtime” then yeah, I expect to be bitched about. I don’t rail on them for being addicts, I rail on them for being so dense and oblivious to the stupidity they inflict upon the world then giving me both barrels thinking its all MY fault. Am I out selling my booze that I got for FREE on the state dime? Do I lie and make up stories to the liquor store man so I can buy another bottle?

Later TAP.

Thats TAP(tm) (I know the angriest is watching). Are you really a drug rep? Or is someone playing a joke on me. Seriously, for someone who has been a drug rep for “10 years” i expected something a bit more.. uh.. realistic?

Comments #

Comment by Adam on 2007-09-19 22:12:03 -0700 #

Hahaha, I’m still laughing about the PDR bit.

Comment by greensunflower on 2007-09-19 22:26:00 -0700 #

I have to agree I hate drug reps just like any healthcare professional. We also have a very antidrugrep culture at work. I think I have seen one viagra pen in the time I have been there… maybe because we treat pediatric idiopathic pulmonary HTN with it… who knows, but that is the only drug pen I have ever seen and we are a pediatric ICU… new drugs all the time.
But I have to agree you have quite the misongynistic tilt to your blog. I have often wondered if your fiance reads it and what she thinks. Maybe you portray yourself as an asshole here, to maintain a gentlemanly manner in real life. I know I am quite different on my blog than in real life. If most read what I put on my blog, they might be really surprised at what is protrayed. My blog is my emotional garbage disposal so I dont ruin my marriage.
I of course still read, there is something very voyaristic to reading blogs such as you pharmacy guys put out.
And I know I cant spell… make fun of it all you want… it has no effect on my nursing practice… hopefully!!!

Comment by Mike on 2007-09-20 02:13:11 -0700 #

I too couldn’t cut it as a drug rep remembering all four drugs, so I chose pharmacy school. 🙂
I don’t think you sound like a member of the he-man woman-haters club. Just observant… Anyone who doesn’t see that the new standard of drug rep is the cutsie, hair tossing, giggling, smiling, thin, young chippie is either blind or stupid.
As far as a drug rep pitting their extensive knowledge of four whole drugs against me, I say bring it on! Be prepared though, when you throw your canned knowledge at me, I’m going to challenge you to think outside the box. And by box, I mean the conference room that they coached you in. I hope you can think on your feet. You see, instead of being coached in pharmacy school on a few specifics,, they help us develop critical thinking skills…. And that doesn’t include bribery or flirtation…

Comment by PharmGirl on 2007-09-20 04:27:58 -0700 #

Get her done!!! LMAO!

Comment by Grasshopper on 2007-09-20 05:51:20 -0700 #

You are in rare form today, Your Royal Angriness(tm)!!
This drug rep needs to get a clue, like you said, that she is part of the problem and not the solution. There is NO WAY the drug reps know more about pharmacology and the like, unless they are pharmacists themselves, which are getting more and more rare. I have a dear friend that spend many years as a pharmacist/rep. She got out due to the BS that she had to endure. Now she’s a real pharmacist, working in a hospital.
Oh and the PDR bit….I am NOT a morning person. I’m reading this right out of bed and I’m laughing. It takes a lot to get that to happen so early. Yeah, PDR….twenty pounds of junk.

Comment by liz on 2007-09-20 07:11:38 -0700 #

Fabulous post–you covered every single thing that I wanted to pound into her head.
Your best comment (besides the PDR–she can’t seriously think that we use that!) that drug reps NEED to understand but FAIL to is that they are salesman NOT consultants! MDs NEED to realize and FAIL to that these people are selling them something. They are NOT consultants! They are NOT health care professionals.

Comment by Carol on 2007-09-20 08:21:13 -0700 #

“your royal angriness”. I love it! I’m gonna get a t shrit made up!

Comment by StephRx on 2007-09-20 08:39:55 -0700 #

Ya shoulda been a lawyer. The good kind. Your comprehensive come-backs always leave me gasping. Seriously, man.

Comment by fred on 2007-09-20 09:58:10 -0700 #

hahaha.. The PDR response was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Comment by BlueTech on 2007-09-20 10:01:27 -0700 #

Personally, I’d rather have Antonio Banderas in a big bee suit promoting nasonex, than a nicely dressed/slutty drug rep telling me what “biphasic” means in ambien CR. I know I’m just a tech, but any half-wit street junkie knows what CR means…and they know how to chew it too.

Comment by J on 2007-09-20 11:54:17 -0700 #

Google search “The Drugs I need” and check out the clip on I think you’ll get a kick out of it!

Comment by StephRx on 2007-09-20 12:10:47 -0700 #

And please don’t listen to the Womyn’s Studies gals who use words like “misogynist” in reference to your writings. For REAL. Many women act very poorly and should not get a pass just because they are women. I’m sick of them making the rest of us look bad.

Comment by Pharmacy Mike on 2007-09-20 12:36:07 -0700 #

That was one of the most thorough ass-kickings I’ve ever seen.
A pharmacist can’t cut it as a drug rep….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh god… That’s classic.

Comment by drh on 2007-09-20 14:51:16 -0700 #

Your Royal Angriness, I didn’t think you could come up with a drug rep rant funnier than the last one, but it’s not the first time I’ve been wrong. Thanks!
As a woman, I did not think you were misogynistic in this post. I think it shows you hate all idiots, but NOT that you hate all women.
Did you see that Ann is back on the comments of your previous post? Think you can go three for three?

Comment by Alex on 2007-09-20 15:06:29 -0700 #

I must say that this post was hilarious! Speaking of GSK reps, I had 2 reps coming in to promote Alli at 2 different times. They were telling me how wonderful Alli is and it’s gonna make the world a better place. When the first rep was here, there was a customer who was overhearing our conversation. She asked the sales rep “I can’t swallow pills so I was hesistant about buying Alli. Is it ok to open the capsule and sprinkle on the food?” and sales rep said “Yeah, No PRoblem!” without any hesistation. Few weeks later, another rep came in to talk about Alli again and I asked him the same question and he said “Absolutely not!” without a single thought =/ Uh… according to sales rep’s post to TAP, they should know EVERYTHING about their meds, rite? Then how come their answers are inconsistent? Could it be due to “opening the capsule question” not being on their website or package insert? (gasp!)

Comment by Cathy Lane RPh on 2007-09-20 15:26:46 -0700 #

Ann rep brought up a good point, a very good point, but it should be pointed out that most pharmacists (and I speak for a lot of them, I think) would go with most generic products, but we as pharmacists are not universally accepting of all generic products for all medications. I remember in one of my first jobs that the physician would prescribe two AM diltiazem doses and a PM verapamil dose for better BP control–I always assumed that the patients had nothing better to do with their lives than measure their BP five times daily under strictly controlled conditions at precisely the same times. When we’re talking generics, we’re talking day in-day out use of a pretty consistently similar amount of a chemical in a human being. Yea, levofloxacin’s MIC to that urinary tract infecting micro-organism is beaucoup times higher than actually needed for eradication, but it’s the most effective for the C/S so am I going to advise the patient to cut the tablet in half? (I might think about whether Cipro on the $4.00 list is a better choice ;), But, no, I’m going to make a mental check that the dose frequency is probably right for the patient’s age/kidney function/mental status, and tell the patient to follow the physician’s direction about how long to take the therapy, explain that plenty of fluids if the patient can take them is probably a good idea, warn of interactions and side-effects, advise taking the entire prescription unless with further follow-up with the physician it’s discontinued, and get on with it. The same patient that’s been on her Synthroid for 5 years, with a couple long past pregnancies without a problem, a little hypertension, and she tries to tell me that she thinks she should switch to the $4.00 generic is going to get a good argument, but I don’t think I’d quibble about her generic glipizide, diuretic, beta-blocker, calcium-channel blocker, etc. Pharmacists are not going to just universally agree to switch back and forth with this or that generic of warfarin, for kids that are on a stable dose of this digoxin or that antiepileptic, but for the majority of other drugs, I’m willing to bet that most pharmacists will find generic products will provide consistent chemical effects.

Comment by CrankyProf on 2007-09-20 15:56:37 -0700 #

I’ll stand by your original comment. Most (not all, but most) drug reps suck dick. Metaphorically, if not actually.
As for their physical appearance…well, I teach occasionally at two of the three area’s Large Pharma Companies. ALL of their drug reps fit a stereotype/mold: Tall, very thin, too much hair gel, veneers…
They look like they were cloned in a lab.
Also, if you’re not on their radars a potential buyer, they’ll treat you like ass spackle.

Comment by Jory on 2007-09-20 16:06:51 -0700 #

Perhaps you should explain to her the reason why pharmacists are not drug reps anymore like they once were…

Comment by MysteryTech on 2007-09-20 16:35:24 -0700 #

yanno, i’ve been a tech for 10 years and i swear the majority of drug reps we get are MEN! maybe new england gets all the guys and west coast the gals? (if youre even on the west coast… there i go getting you confused with the DrugNazi again)
“your royal anginess”! ha! in my pharmacy we used to have “royal decress” all the time! it was actually the “watch out for this patient” notices. “by royal decree of king (pharmacist’s name): let thee be wary of John Smith as he has taken a liking to consuming #100 percocet in 5 days time and has been known to frequent the neighbouring kingdoms of Rite Land and Wallyworld” ^__^

Comment by Dean C - Blo, NY on 2007-09-20 19:23:20 -0700 #

Dude, the PDR pharmacist is the one I complained about not to long ago in my email. I shit you not.

Comment by Katie on 2007-09-20 20:45:11 -0700 #

You know, this summer was the first time I had drug reps come into work. They never came in where I interned the previous year. It was a new and novel experience, because frankly, I am a pen whore. I love drug pens, especially nice ones, but I digress.
Alot of reps would come, ask for the pharmacist, and after we shook them down for goodies, they got to talk to him. One day I was working the register, and a rep came up and asked to speak with the pharmacist. I look and the pharmacist was on the phone, so I ask the man to give him a few minutes. His response was, “Well, I can talk to you, you are a student. Where are you at school? How many years do you have left?” I was honestly flattered by this. We talk a few things, he informs me about Topamax and prophylaxis for Migraines. He puts information and pens (good ones!) on the counter. As soon as a customer comes up, he says “Thank you for your time, I appreciate it” and he’s gone. Bam. I am talking less than a minute. Then I distributed the pens to the techs I liked best. 🙂
That was my favorite drug-rep experience–short and to the point!

Comment by anon on 2007-09-20 20:48:37 -0700 #

“If I give a liquor store owner both barrels because I drank my whole bottle of scotch in 3 days when it was supposed to last a month even though the directions say “1 glass at bedtime” then yeah, I expect to be bitched about.”
Bwhahahahahahaha. Brilliant.

Comment by Nikki on 2007-09-20 21:26:32 -0700 #

I love you. Marry me.
once again, pure genius.

Comment by Nikki on 2007-09-20 21:29:10 -0700 #

I love you. Marry me.
once again, pure genius.

Comment by Pharmacy Dick on 2007-09-21 14:17:53 -0700 #

I can not remember the last time I saw a drug rep, to be honest. I guess I saw one a couple years ago when I went to a steak dinner and someone in the front of the room was rambling on about how Coreg was the be all, end all. I didn’t really pay that much attention. I got CE, but I can’t really remember what it was about, but the steak was fantastic. I could really go for a steak right now.

Comment by DIALYSISTECH on 2007-09-21 14:35:10 -0700 #

THIS BLOG IS AWESOME — i have been a pharmacy tech for 8 years and everything you blog about reflects everyday life for us pharmacy people, from the tech call to medicaid drug addicts. Ha-ha — I wish I had a pharmacist like you — good grief — it seems as if my pharmacist is either blubbering woman that cries everytime a drug addict calls her a b@#^$ or a control freak that was hitler in a past life — you know the type— im kinda glad i moved on from that– other thing — why is it that at most retail chains the tech does everything while the pharmacist just verifies? (i mean everyting –ordering, ins prob, counting, filework, helping customers, rx input, reconstitution, training, otc work, dealing with angry customers, dealing with drug addicts)– i guess ill just have to wait until i get out of pharmacy school.

Comment by AngryNatalie on 2007-09-21 16:51:26 -0700 #

“You and the docs have to somewhat know the PDR”
ahahaha no wait…my sides hurt…ahahahahahahaha
somewhat? PDR? P-fuckin-DR? i think someone is playing a joke on you. again, any respectable health care professional (let me stress ‘professional’) does NOT use a PDR. big fan of lexicomp here.

Comment by Hope on 2007-09-21 19:11:39 -0700 #

Dear Royal Angriness:
It’s no joke, I’m convinced. Most of the drug reps I’ve seen just want to be taken seriously, stop looking at my chest, dammit, I’m talking to you! Maybe they should spend more time reading that pdr I use as a doorstop…

Comment by Linda on 2007-09-22 07:35:33 -0700 #

Well, Angry Pharmacist, you handed my firm toned ass to me on a silver platter and I am humbled…but I can laugh.
You did miss some of the irony in my note to you..shame on you! Reps have their own vocabulary too and I wanted you to get the “visual” of a drug rep. furiously thumbing through the PDR in her awesome company car trying to find an answer to a question that you might ask..Just kidding.
I will close with the following..and look forward to continued laughs reading your blog. I do find you hilarious.
So, “thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate you taking a few minutes. Please accept these designer pens in the lusciously velvet sleeves as a token of my appreciation. If you are nice to me I might even include a coffee mug and a magnet or two. Please notice that I gave you this months propa…oops..I mean, clinical information rolled up neatly in a bagel or donut hole. Enjoy!”
Thanks, your blonde, blue-eyed, 5’4″, 115lb, hottie, drug-rep. Please can I do an inservice with you?? Teach me to spell and say big words.

Comment by rph3664 on 2007-09-22 08:08:33 -0700 #

Sure, we pharmacists use the PDR – AS A DOOR STOP!
We were getting rid of some obsolete references where I work, and I went online to see if any charities could use them. You know what? All they want are last year’s PDRs. This was mainly for third world countries where lots of people speak English. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me either because a lot of these drugs have other brand names in those countries.
I took those books to the library for their book sale. People actually bought them, too, mainly nursing students. (I always work at the book sale because it’s a lot of fun.)

Comment by hvs on 2007-09-22 11:30:28 -0700 #

I found my way over here from Glenn Reynolds and bookmarked the site.
Just wanted to say that it is a riot reading this blog. It is truly funny.
I’m a corporate finance consultant so I don’t understand much of the vernacular. But it’s fun read nonetheless.
BTW, what is a DAW 1?

Comment by David on 2007-09-22 12:13:04 -0700 #

I an office manager for a D.O. practice and a former Pharmacy student at UF (I had to drop out due to a Chrones flare…) and I have to agree with you on the drug rep issue. We get MANY different reps, and the only ones I like are the ones that bring good lunches. Seems like the only thing they are good for are the goodies they dispense…
At least the majority of them realize that they are glorified salespeople and dont try to challenge me on Pharmacodymanics and metabolism. I love it when they try though!!!
PDR? Un-fucking-believable. There is no way the idiot you were answering was a rep. Even THEY know that the PDR is a paid advertisement for the drugs listed. At least my D.O. listens to me and uses Lexi now. Someone was pulling you leg, had to be…

Comment by RxTechKim on 2007-09-23 10:46:19 -0700 #

Well said!

Comment by Kong on 2007-09-23 11:22:09 -0700 #

Look, sales reps are so full of shit. I worked in research and development for a very large generic pharmaceutical company for five years and now I’m in pharmacy school. The products we produced were equivalent. I just want to slap people who say “generics aren’t the same”. Slap then like the V8 commercials on the television. The only variable in the product formulation for a solid dosage form is the liberation. The disintegration and dissolution can vary between manufacturers. However, if the formulator and company are worth a shit, the only way you are going to see this is through some complex statistical analysis. Once the product has gone through the ANDA process and is listed in the orange book, your argument doesn’t hold water. Costs are sky rocketing and the reps and drug companies are just adding fuel to the fire and it pisses me off. For a rep to say they would put their knowledge of four drugs up against any doctor or pharmacist! What an asshole! You must have a huge ego and all that money you are making (never mind how) has completely gone to your head. I will say to you a lesson in humility is warranted. I would love to see legislation enacted to prevent pharma companies from having sales reps pay visits to doctor’s offices. Everyone has to stay current with the literature and CEs anyway. This isn’t going to happen, since the big pharma companies are the ones with all the money and can pay off the whores in DC. God I need a scotch myself!

Comment by Blonde Pharmacist on 2007-09-23 18:23:02 -0700 #

True dat. True dat. True dat.
I especially loved the analogy of learning 4 drugs.
I haven’t ever opened a PDR until the first week of pharmacy school where I learned how BAD they really were.
I use much more up-to-date and USEFUL references.
God, I love this post!

Comment by drugmanrx on 2007-09-23 19:29:39 -0700 #

Go read “Tale of a Viagra Salesman” to get the picture of what a lot of drug reps get away with. It also makes you think how much less expensive drugs would be if they didn’t spend so much paying these drug reps and advertising their branded products all the time. You can’t even advertise on TV in Europe if you are a drug company (this is a good thing). As far as the generic not being as good as the brand name product. Brand name products get recalled all the freaking time for various reasons like sub-standard manufacturing processes. (ie Paxil CR awhile ago, Daytrana, etc) A lot of the time the generic will even be made by the same drug company /factory(hence why the Z-pak generic came out before the patent was up so they could get a foothold in the market place) Generics have to go through the same qualifications as branded medicine. If you are afraid of taking a generic because you think it’s not safe, you might as well not take the brand name product either.

Comment by Shalom (R. Ph.) on 2007-09-23 19:39:38 -0700 #

Oh, this is just too much of a coincidence.
There I was, reading your rant about Coreg CR.
(I agree 100%, I first started ranting on this subject myself years ago, back when Valtrex first came out. Used to be Glaxo (back then it was Burroughs Wellcome) would tell you Zovirax was the hottest stuff out there; all of a sudden it’s trash, and you should be prescribing Valtrex instead. WTF, it was fine all these years, why just now is it no good? Doesn’t have anything to do with the release of generic acyclovir does it? Naah, just coincidence, right? What burns me is that if Valtrex was so much better, why didn’t GSK release it earlier? No, they had to milk Zovirax for all they could get first. Similar situation when Skelaxin went from 400 mg to 800 mg, I remember seeing (briefly) a generic 400mg tab, then the brand switched and the generic disappeared. There are lots of other examples of this sort of chicanery.)
Then I switched to the other browser tab and found an e-mail from my wholesaler. They are trumpeting the fact that Soma(R) is now available in 250mg tablets for “only” $203.40 per hundred. How much is the 350mg generic again? Oh, about $33.00 per thousand, more or less. I wonder what excuse they’re gonna give the doctors to prescribe the lower strength, or maybe they’ll just give them pre-printed pads or something and hope they don’t notice the change.
(By the way, what’s with this pre-printed DAW-1 pad you mention? In New York, the law states that the letters “DAW” must be in the prescriber’s own handwriting; if it’s even typed, let alone preprinted, it’s not valid. I gleefully ignore those and fill the generic.)
Truth is, I never cared much when I worked in the chains whether I filled the brand or the generic, because in that situation the pharmacist is insulated from the cost. We have no idea how much R*ck R*te or M*rk St*v*ns paid for the stuff, all we get is AWP. The major reason to fill the generic is that you get a better bonus if your generic dispensing ratio is higher, but if the doctor wrote DAW I wasn’t going to make myself crazy trying to track them down. (Besides which, I’d get an argument from the patient.) Now I’ve been working in an independent store where I really have to know how much the stuff costs, I’m a little more diligent about generics.
Oh, and about drug rep pens. Believe it or not, someone’s making money selling them on eBay…

Comment by Richie Rx on 2007-09-23 20:45:06 -0700 #

Hmmmmm,let’s do some history of Glaxo for the past 5 years…
Recalls: Bactroban ointment, Bactroban Nasal, Paxil Suspension, Paxil tabs, Paxil-Cr (once for tablets falling apart, another for not having paroxetine in the tablet!), Advair,Raxar and the list goes on.
Remember when they shut down the manufacturing plant for Coreg because they didn’t have the proper record keeping! You want to know why they haven’t recalled Wellbutrin-XL, it’s because they DON’T make it, read the label. They also don’t make Bactroban, just sell it. (good thing for the public).
How about the vaccines, how many retail pharmacies no longer carry them because they are now only sold in “5” or “10” packs.
It’s funny how GSK talks about generic Coreg, yet they make the generic Paxil for(Par Labs) and generic
Zofran for(Sandoz) the labels, PENN labs is GSK..
ever look at a bottle of Beconase-AQ, some say made in Canada, some in England.
My doctor wanted to give me a flu shot and when I looked at the bottle and saw GSK, I refused. Who knows what they did with the Lymerix! How many versions of Engerix can they make.
GSK, give us a break!

Comment by MrIncognito on 2007-09-24 09:10:48 -0700 #

The comment on the PDR is so strange coming from someone who claims to have been a Drug Rep for 10 years that is calls into question the credibility of the entire post. I simply cannot believe that after 10 years visiting pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and hospitals anyone would have no clue what any of the people they speak to actually do for a living. It has to be a joke or someone just trying to get people angry.

Comment by LD/50 Rat on 2007-09-24 20:54:17 -0700 #

Like shooting fish in a barrel , eh? When Ms. I’m A Pharmacy Rep mentioned the PDR, you should have snipped the rest of her rant with “and we’re done. Nothing else to see here, move along.”
Folks I went to school/university with that became reps..(a/an)
social worker
English major-literature
BA in biology (just so she wouldn’t have to take organic chem or else that would be just too hard!)
nursing assistant (no joke)
elementary school teacher
TAP, yes I’m sure you are shaking in your boots you could never walk in those lofty Pharm Rep shoes.

Comment by SR on 2007-09-28 07:39:24 -0700 #

We buy the PDR every other year or so, for the reference desk at our (non-medical) library. Is it really all paid for by drug companies? Are the other references you mentioned intended for the general public, or are they more exclusively for professionals? I’m wondering if I should suggest we change to a different title than the PDR for the reference desk.

Comment by rph3664 on 2007-09-29 16:25:06 -0700 #

SR, the PDR is adequate for the lay person. We don’t use it but that doesn’t mean nobody else should.
I collect old medical books and have some PDRs going back as far as 1959. (The weirdest thing in it? A blood pressure drug called Nembu-Serpine. Yeah, you’d be so heavily sedated, you wouldn’t care what your BP was!) It’s interesting to see what commonly used drugs used to look like, and the combinations once marketed.
I get asked all the time if I use a PDR, and my answer, after grimacing and making the sign of the cross with my fingers, is invariably, “No!”

Comment by Icky on 2007-10-11 12:00:18 -0700 #

Just ran across your blog and LOVE IT!
I own an Independent Pharmacy in Central KY… I have worked here for 19 years… When I started we used the old Bates numbering machine and a typewriter!! Insurance claims were filed on Universal Claim Forms… I bought this pharmacy 4 years ago – just in time to get hit with Part D!!!
AND NOW we are up against AMP pricing! That’s the single biggest problem we face, IMO.
I’m glad you have a BLOG… but I kinda wish it was a Discussion Board! More interactivity… more information… greater ability to be an Activist and try to fix some of the problems we face!
Keep up the good work! I’ll be checking in from time to time!

Comment by another rph on 2007-10-18 19:05:45 -0700 #

who r u if u worked for WAG THEY WOULD HAVE FIRED U A LONG TIME AGO. I know this will not make it to your blog because your are a plant .give me a break . if you are a chain pharmacist you wopuld not know some of the stuff you are blogging about like profit margins and such. so own up and tell us who you really work for

Comment by girl on 2008-02-08 22:34:11 -0800 #

damn! does everyone hate the reps that much!!!!??? i wana go to pharm school but im scared how hard it will be and ive been told that i should just be a pharm rep. yet i dont wana be hated on everyday by everyone. o geez. 🙁

Comment by Clint Cora on 2010-05-01 19:08:21 -0700 #

All I can say was that as a former pharma sales rep and manager, I was not female, not good looking and also was a visible minority. Certainly no beauty pageant candidate. But in all my years, I’ve had good working relationships with both doctors and pharmacists. Pharmacists appreciated the ‘deals’ I offered their stores and the service I provided by clearing their expired stock. At least in my case, there were no big issues among the folks I called on during those years.

Comment by Pharmacist123 on 2010-05-02 22:45:15 -0700 #

I don’t appreciate Drug Reps. Especially lately. I feel sorry for them, they’re salesmen/women, without a real education trying to be medical. That’s all. They parrot information. Everything lately has been re-packaged bull#$#t that’s been around for ages. Like Tessalon Perles now in a 150mg convenient capsule (which the drug rep whipped out a demonstration capsule from his pocket like it’s really going to impress me) Fexmid etc. I’m tired of the same sh#$ in a 1 and 1/2 strength form. They waste our time and it always seems that they come in when it’s most busy.